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Slovak non-profit ETP gets award for Roma project

Slovak non-profit organisation ETP Slovensko – Centrum pre udržateľný rozvoj (i.e. Centre for Sustainable Development) received the gold Civil Society Prize awarded in mid October by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels for the project Budujeme nádej / Building Hope implemented in the Košice region. Part of the prize is also a financial reward of €15,000.

Slovak non-profit organisation ETP Slovensko – Centrum pre udržateľný rozvoj (i.e. Centre for Sustainable Development) received the gold Civil Society Prize awarded in mid October by the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels for the project Budujeme nádej / Building Hope implemented in the Košice region. Part of the prize is also a financial reward of €15,000.

The winning Slovak project helps young families from segregated Roma communities to build legally their own homes, as financed by their savings and by micro-loans. The prize was received by head of ETP Slovensko Slávka Mačáková and by Ondrej Sámeľ, who has helped the builders from the start of the construction, and Milan Gašpar, one of the active Roma builders from the village of Rankovce.

The project Budujeme nádej for the first time in Slovakia tested the new model of self-supporting construction of family houses. These houses will become the personal property of the builders. Young people from settlements build on legally procured plots based on a valid construction permit, the SITA newswire wrote. Houses have electricity, water and sewage. The costs are covered from the savings of the Roma and form micro-loans of €6,200 rendered by ETP Slovensko. The loan is duly backed by the mortgage right, due in 10 years, and its payment begins after the construction is finished. A construction coordinator helps with the building of houses.

“The project brings a new model of solving social housing in Slovakia, Mačáková told the TASR newswire. “It is financed mainly from private resources and resources of donors of the non-profit organisation.”

Thanks to this project, six young families form Rankovce can change their fate, living in a low-expense house instead of a shed. In the second phase, ten more houses are being built in Rankovce, while more people have shown interest. The project has been organised since 2013, and it should continue by being financed from the public resources of the Slovak state, SITA wrote on October 21.

ETP Slovensko currently works on seven other projects involving Roma communities: three are educational, two art-oriented and two focused on financial inclusion and housing – the programmes of saving and micro-loans. The non-profit organisation says that in the 15 years of existence, it found out that the best approach with best result is rendering complex services – simultaneously in education, employment, housing, health care, financial and social inclusion for the members of communities of all age categories. ETP Slovensko is one of three winners of the gold Civil Society Prize which has been awarded since 2006 to non-governmental organisations that importantly contribute to support the European identity and integration. In total, 81 organisaitons and individuals competed for the prize, according to TASR.

(Source: SITA, TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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